Last Minute Taxes Reminder! Complete With Help

Illo by CharrowNeed some last minute advice and guidance about getting those taxes done? Here’s Billfold pal Alizah Salario in Fusion:

Like many millennials, you’re probably part of the freelance/gig/sharing economy. When you earn non-employee income (you should receive a 1099-MISC form for all jobs with $600+ in earnings), the client doesn’t withhold taxes — but you still have to pay them. For 1099 rookies, this may be a shock to the system. (Full disclosure: I angry-cried my way through taxes my first year freelancing.) You can cut what you owe by carefully itemizing deductions, but here are a few pro tips.

Alizah has lots of answers for you, including the one to the question, “What if I can’t pay? Should I still file?”

And, of course, if you’re part of the freelance/gig/sharing economy, remember that estimated quarterly taxes are also due on April 15th.

Hyperventilating? Trembling? We can help. 

First, give you brain a break and read this interesting essay about art and work, and specifically what happened when one artist decided to stop using the word “work” altogether:

I decided to stop using the word “work” as an experiment. It was very difficult! I had to compensate by substituting a more specific description of the activity. For example, instead of “I’m going to my studio to work,” I’d have to say, “I’m going to make some drawings.” Or instead of “I’m going to work around the house,” I’d have to say, “I’m going to clean the kitchen and fold some laundry.” I discovered that the absence of the word ‘work’ forced me to reconsider assumptions about leisure, because the idea of work implied its opposite. I let go of the notion that I deserved a certain amount of downtime from being productive or from being active. The labour/leisure dichotomy became uncoupled and then dissolved. I couldn’t use labour to allay guilt or self-punish or feel superior. Work didn’t exist, so all the psychological payoff of work for work’s sake had nowhere to go.

Or, perhaps, if you find a surge of anger more motivating, consider this article about how Kansas intends to ban welfare recipients from going swimming or watching movies on the government’s dime. (“State Sen. Michael O’Donnell, a Wichita Republican who has advocated for the bill, said the legislation is designed to pressure those receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to spend ‘more responsibly.'”) In case you were wondering, these are the actions of an actual nanny state.

Then, get back into the IRS-spirit by remembering that Meaghan, last year, did her taxes — annual and quarterly — the night before they were due. Was it awful? It was! Was it still kind of okay and, anyway, soon enough, over? It was!

Once you’re ready, pour yourself a stiff drink, take a sip, tell yourself you can finish once you’re done, put the glass down, and use Josh Fruhlinger’s excellent step-by-step guide, which will you let you handle today and get a better handle on your future.

Press “submit.” Finish your drink. Watch Blazing Saddles. You’ve earned it.

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